Roadway Safety: Importance of Preventing and Correcting Trailer Sway

Whether you’re planning on a vacation with the family next summer or just want to hook up a trailer and go on a cross-country road trip for some alone time, long drives are great. Driving across states, taking in all the nature, and just clearing your mind is a great way to refresh and clear your mind.

Although these vacations, road trips, and long drives can be very relaxing, they can actually be quite dangerous as well. Not only are U.S. roadways dangerous already due to distracted driving, various hazards, and poor weather and road conditions; improper trailer towing can have catastrophic results on the roads.

If you’re planning on hooking up a heavy trailer to your truck for the first time, you need to make sure you know what you’re doing in order to keep yourself, your family, your vehicle, your gear, and everyone else on the road safe. Before you go on an extremely long trip, you should practice driving around and learn how to effectively maneuver the trailer and the vehicle being towed. In addition to practicing your driving, utilizing trailer control devices are essential for safe towing.

Trailer sway control devices come in two basic types: those that start to reduce trailer sway once it has begun and those that work to prevent swaying from happening altogether. Keep in mind, additional weight distribution systems are recommended if the trailer’s weight is more than 50% of your vehicle’s weight.

Even minor windstorms can cause extreme dangers on the roadway for your trailer and towing vehicle. In fact, a 35-mile-per-hour crosswind could put as much as 3,440 pounds of force pushing on the side of the trailer, according to a study on commercial vehicle towing accidents by Knott Laboratory.

Trailer sway control hitches are great for correcting some of the weight issues that occur while driving down the road. Between 12% and 15% of the trailer’s weight should be resting on the towing vehicle’s hitch.

If you want to learn more about trailer sway control or find quality trailer sway prevention devices, give Hayes Towing Electronics a call right away.

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4 Great Tips For Safely Operating Recreational Vehicles

More than 11% of U.S. households headed by 35-to-54-year-olds own a recreational vehicle (RV). In fact, across the country, there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts, including renters. These outdoor-loving people have more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds to roam around nationwide, leading to fun-filled trips for millions of families.

Driving an RV or towing a large and heavy trailer is extremely difficult and you can’t just get behind the wheel and expect to safely get down the road. You need to practice driving safe and implement some various tips and tricks for RV driving and trailer towing. Here are some great RV and trailer towing tips:

  • Pay attention to the weather — No matter where you’re going or what vehicle you’re traveling in, if the weather is projected to be too severe, you should cancel your trip. Even powerful RVs can overturn during powerful storms and trailers can begin swaying all over the roadways.
  • Utilize electric brakes for trailers — With trailer brake controllers, you can ensure that your vehicle’s braking system is connected to the trailers. Without a proper brake connection, simply pressing the brakes on your towing vehicle won’t stop or even slow down the trailer being towed, which can lead to some serious roadway issues.
  • Drive slow — It seems obvious, but so many RV drivers drive way too fast on the road. Since these vehicles are so large, your reaction time is much shorter than smaller vehicles. You need to drive very slow and never exceed 65 miles per hour.
  • Stay all the way to the right side of the road — Since you should be driving slow, you should remain in the right lane and let everyone pass you to the left. Staying near the right shoulder is great just in case of an emergency, as well. If any mechanical issue occurs, you can simply slow down and pull off to the right, rather than switching lanes on a busy highway.

From electric brakes for trailers to simply spending a few hours practicing driving an RV, hopefully, these tips will help you and your family travel the roads safely. If you want to learn more about safely operating a large RV or find some quality electric brakes for trailers, give Hayes Towing Electronics a call right away.

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